Europe

Europe: Albania opposition shouldn't stop judicial reform

A senior European Parliament politician has called on the Albanian opposition Democratic Party not to block a judicial reform — the main step toward launching Albania's membership negotiations with the European Union.

Albanian's Democrats, who have been protesting for a week for free and fair elections in June, plan to boycott parliament next week. That may stop the justice system reform, which aims to create institutions for the vetting of some 800 judges and prosecutors.

The reform seeks to root out bribery and ensure that judges and prosecutors are independent from politics. Brussels says its implementation is key to Albania's effort to become an EU member.

Knut Fleckenstein, rapporteur on Albania, on Wednesday said it was up to Albanian politicians to implement the reform and start negotiations.